“There is no compulsion in religion,” says the Qur’an (2:256), but what constitutes “compulsion” is in the eye of the beholder. After all, the institutionalized subjugation of the dhimma, with its regular humiliation and harassment, from which one can be freed for the simple price of converting to Islam, is not considered compulsion. Remember Centanni and Wiig, the journalists who were kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam — even though their conversions were obviously coerced, their captors made them say that they were converting freely, and the captors probably believed that themselves. After all, the journos could have chosen to be killed instead.
“1,000 Christian, Hindu girls forced to convert to Islam every year in Pakistan: report,” from IndiaToday, April 8 (thanks to Lookmann):
Around 1,000 Christian and Hindu women in Pakistan are forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men every year, says a report released by Movement for Solidarity and Peace (MSP) on Monday.
The report says the estimates of the incidence of forced marriage and conversion range from 100 to 700 victim Christian girls and 300 Hindu girls every year, adding that the true scale of the problem is likely to be much greater, as a number of cases are never reported or do not progress through the law-enforcement and legal systems.
The report has categorised the concurrent incidence of forced conversions and forced marriages as a distinct crime specific to minority Christian women in Punjab.
The report says that cases of forced marriages/conversions follow a distinctive pattern. Christian girls – usually between the ages of 12 and 25 – are abducted, converted to Islam and married to the abductor or third party.
The victim’s family usually files a First Information Report (FIR) for abduction or rape with the local police station. The abductor, on behalf of the victim girl, files a counter FIR, accusing the Christian family of harassing the willfully converted and married girl, and for conspiring to convert the girl back to Christianity.
Upon production in the courts or before the magistrate, the victim girl is asked to testify whether she converted and married of her own free will or if she was abducted. In most cases, the girl remains in custody of the abductor while judicial proceedings are carried out.
Upon the girl’s pronouncement that she wilfully converted and consented to the marriage, the case is settled without relief for the family. Once in the custody of the abductor, the victim girl may be subjected to sexual violence, rape, forced prostitution, human trafficking and sale, or other domestic abuse.
In its report, MSP has included 10 illustrative cases victims who have been subjected to such patterns of violence and injustice.